THE Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) will soon have its 500-bed capacity expanded to 800.
This was a commitment given by Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, who, in a brief stint in the city this week, consulted with the medical staff of the hospital to ascertain the needs of the hospital.
The senator was given a presentation to familiarize him with the situation and needs of the hospital. Medical chief Dr. Ricardo Runez, who presided over the presentation, appealed for their proposed budget increase to be granted by Congress.
Ejercito, who heads the Senate Committee on Health, inspected the medical wards where corridors were occupied by patient beds and was saddened by the situation of what he saw. “I saw for myself the sad situation of patients already in corridors,” he said.
This fact would make it easier for him to push for the proposed budget of the hospital, he said.
He also lamented that beds in the charity ward were too close to one another and commented that patients need privacy even more so because they are sick.
BGHMC, designated as a referral center of the North, caters to patients from the Cordilleras, the Ilocos Region ,and the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Tarlac. Its occupancy rate exceeds its bed capacity given the areas it serves. In 2016 occupancy was recorded at more than 144 percent.
To ease the burden of patients that have to be referred to Manila, BGHMC also has on blueprint for 2018 and 2019 the creation of a heart, lung and kidney centers pegged at a budget of P512 million, staggered at P240 million for 2018 and another P272 million for 2019.
Ejercito saw this as a sensible development so as to also decongest Manila facilities and to spare Northlanders the hassle of having to commute to Manila and spend more for logistics.
The hospital records an average of 30 angiograms per month and six angioplasty in its private wards, and serves 300 chronic kidney disease patients for hemodialysis.
However, the senator said everything will be a matter of prioritization and encouraged the hospital officials to sit and discuss further with him the budget before Congress goes on session again after the Sona in June.
An obstacle to this plan is the long-standing problem of 300 families who have built their dwellings as informal settlers occupying 12 hectares of the 24-hectare BGHMC compound.
Plans are afoot to transfer them to a lot in Barangay San Vicente where medium-rise buildings can be constructed to house them for which more funding is required.